tv [untitled] March 8, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> hello. welcome to "meet your district supervisor." we are here with supervisor farrell from district2, which includes the marina, pacific heights, st. cliff, and the neighborhoods surrounding the presidio. supervisor farrell started his first term this january, so he is new to the board. we will get to know him and talk about the toughest issues facing the city. welcome, supervisor. thank you for joining us. tell us about your background -- where you grew up, went to school, the kind of jobs you have worked. >> i am a born and raised san franciscan, first and foremost. very proud of that. i am also a born and raised district 2 residents. i grew up close to the palace of
fine arts. my parents still live in the same set of flats i grew up in. i went to grammar school at stuart hall in district 2. i went to high school in st. ignatius. i'm a very proud wildcat. i went to college at loyola marymount college in los angeles. i had a scholarship to play baseball down there. ended up going to ireland and getting a master's degree at university college dublin. came back to the states and went to law school at the university of pennsylvania. spent three years in philadelphia. came back, and ever since coming back to the bay area, professionally, i have been a corporate attorney down at palo alto. i left after about three years and became an investment banker here in san francisco at thomas was all partners. working the industry for about five and a half years. in the summer of 2009, joined a venture capital firm. i am happily married.
my wife and i lived around laurel village in district 2. we have two small children. our goal is five and our boy is three. how parents and excited to be here on the board. >> why did you choose to live in san francisco? and tell us about what motivated your interest in politics. >> choosing to live in san francisco was natural, given that i was born and raised here. when you are a child, you do not understand what you have until you leave home. i have the fortunate opportunity to live in los angeles and abroad in ireland and in philadelphia. there is no place like home in san francisco is your home. very natural and something was looking forward to in trying to find a job to come home to after law school. my job afforded me that opportunity, to come back to the bay area. so i'm lucky, and i will be here the rest of my life. in terms of getting into politics, for me, it was two
reasons. first, being from here was part of my motivation. really feeling a sense of routes in san francisco, and also raising our children here. as a young family, we went through the discussion and dialogue that many young families go through in san francisco. "should we move to the suburbs? should we move elsewhere? san francisco is expensive to live. the public-school system has been difficult in the past." i think less about the quality of schools because we have great schools and grieg parental involvement, but more about the assignment process. where would my child go to school? a lot of family leaves, -- a lot of families leave. we stuck around, but it was a turning point decision to say, all right, we are here from -- we're here for good. what can we do to make this place better? getting involved in politics was the fact that the seed was open for election for the first time
in a long time. it was previously mayor newsom's seat and supervisor alioto- pier's seat. i did not get into politics because i had a lifelong ambition of being a politician. that is not me. i came from a private sector, and looking at honestly answering the question -- did i have something different to offer that i thought would be valuable to sanford's is go right now? i do think a large part of our problems in the city are financial, economic. with my background, i did think i would be able to add a lot of value, and that is why i decided to get into politics. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? >> i have to say, i'm one that has been trying to get away from the political spectrum dialogue in san francisco. i would just say, generically, i think i am in the middle. i'm a moderate person.
nationally, i think we are a little bit left in san francisco, but i think i am a socially liberal person. that is what i tend to practice what i preach. >> what did you learn campaigning for supervisor, and was there anything that surprised you? >> that is a great question. i have never run for office before. i am new to the political world. for me, the learning curve was the best he could be. there were a lot of lessons to be learned in running a race in san francisco. a few that stick in my mind -- money does matter. raising money. that is the simple, somewhat unfortunate fact of life. i think really having a message that resonates with voters, not just saying you want to be a politician, but you have to really explain why you, and i think that was really court to
what we did. most importantly, the one thing i drew out of it was the hard work and other determination is the thing that will, i think, allow you to succeed more than anything else. i believe that the candidates who won this past november with the ones who worked the hardest in their races. >> what are the biggest issues facing san francisco? >> i believe the biggest ones are economic problems right now. we face was estimated to be a $400 million deficit this fiscal year. potentially growing next fiscal year. it all comes back to that in many ways. we have a growing pension and retiree health care problem that is huge and looming and getting worse. as important, we have a huge unemployment rate here in san francisco. it is about 9.6% right now, and the fact that we have not done much about that in city hall i think is about to change.
that is certainly something i will be focused on, putting people back to work. it is an individual issue, but it is a family issue, and we have a lot of families still struggling, and a think people have lost sight of that. hopefully, we will be getting out of this recession soon, but we need to do a lot in city hall to accelerate getting out of the recession, making sure families are back at work, making sure children are provided for. that is my biggest priority. >> talk about the issues facing your district specifically and how you are going to balance the issues facing the city at large against those in your district. >> we definitely have a few big projects for issues -- or issues we're paying a lot of attention to and we will continue to devote a lot of attention to, both myself and my staff. one of biggest ones is the planned development of the new